With me working outside the house for the first time in twenty-nine years, our family has definitely gone through a myriad of changes and adjustments, the last couple of months. One of the most challenging has simply been the absence of a wife and mom from very early in the morning until well after dinner, each evening. The opportunity to connect and communicate just wasn’t happening. There weren’t enough hours in the day. My life had settled into a routine of getting the kids off to school, going to work, arriving home each evening after dinner was already done, helping with homework and then shuffling everyone off to bed, so we could wake early and do the same thing all over, again. I am in awe of those of you who have been able to balance working outside your homes with a meaningful family life. You truly ARE super moms! I clearly am NOT and after a lot of prayer and discussion, we decided something that may surprise a lot of you. It doesn’t work for us. I have been so blessed to work in a Christian office environment with employers and co-workers who were also great friends. I was able to do meaningful work that helped many, but the timing was definitely not right for our still “growing up” family. As of last Tuesday, I am officially back in my role as stay-at-home mom. I’m here when my husband and kids arrive home in the afternoon and I am “taking back” our home, reorganizing and cleaning and just making it a place our family and friends will feel “at home” and welcome in. (I’m amazed at how much can deteriorate in only a couple of months. Oy! But I’m getting it back on track.) I’ve been cooking meals and baking, again, so be expecting some new recipes. I have also started some great home “makeover” projects that I’ll be rolling out for you, this week. But, one of the best parts of being back home is that David and I are able to find those quiet moments, again, where we’re home at the same time, there is no pressing need to do something or go somewhere and we can sit at the kitchen counter and catch up on what each of us are doing and plan for what’s ahead. Sunday morning was one of those times.
I was recently given the opportunity to work on the #DeliciousPairings campaign with Starbucks and Walmart, to try Starbucks Medium Roast House Blend coffee with delectable baked goods from The Bakery at Walmart. You all know that David is a connoisseur of all things coffee, loving to experiment with flavors and try new brands, so this was a perfect opportunity for him to treat his palate to a blend that hadn’t made it into our brewer, yet. Sunday morning the kids were off to Sunday School and we had a few minutes before leaving for church, to sit down and just enjoy a quiet, unrushed moment. It was wonderful!
By the time I visited our Walmart, the Delicious Pairings Display had already been removed. I asked about it when I first visited the bakery area and wasn’t able to find it. I was told it had started breaking down and so they had decided to disassemble it. I was a little disappointed, because I was looking forward to all the information it provides about Starbucks coffee blends and foods that are good compliments to their flavors. Be sure you watch for the #DeliciousPairings displays in your own Walmart bakery section. You won’t want to miss all the tasty combinations!
I perused the bakery area anyway, looking for blueberry muffins, since I had it on good authority that they were a perfect compliment to Starbucks Medium Roast House Blend. I did find yummy looking baked goods displayed with a cooler full of Starbucks Iced Coffees, but they were mostly doughnuts and danishes. I was really hoping to find the muffins. It didn’t take long. Our Walmart had an entire island display of muffin combo packs. Yum! They looked deliciously moist and the tops were covered in crunchy sugar crystals. I picked up a box that included fresh blueberry muffins and headed for the coffee aisle to track down the coffee I wanted in order to surprise David.
I wheeled my cart towards the checkout, with my purchases, and all the while, I was making note of the heavy-duty bag that the Starbucks coffee was packaged in, an idea for an Earth Month up-cycling project was forming in my mind. This campaign provided me with TWO fun opportunities — a quiet moment with my husband and a little gardening surprise! I couldn’t wait to get home!
Our Sunday morning visit was fantastic and relaxing. The Walmart bakery blueberry muffins did not disappoint. They were super moist inside and had sweet crunchy tops, plus they were loaded with delicious fresh blueberries. We already knew that they would be a good compliment to the Starbucks Medium Roast House Blend Coffee and we were told we might notice hints of blueberry, apple or nuttiness in the coffee. The coffee was good and the second brewing was even better as we made it a little stronger, the second time around, to better suit David’s tastes. Drinking the coffee by itself, we really didn’t note any of the fruit or nut undertones, however taking a sip after a bite of muffin, David thought he may have gotten just a note of the blueberry — definitely no apple or nuts for us, though. Regardless of the lack of the expected flavor undertones, it was delicious coffee and we had a marvelous time sharing a quiet, relaxing moment, together. David definitely recommends the Starbucks House Blend as a great start for the morning!
The used coffee grounds from our morning were quickly added to my counter top composter with a built-in filter. I love having this smaller option handy by my sink, to collect vegetable peelings, egg shells, coffee grounds and more, throughout our day. Then I can simply carry the whole bucket to the backyard to add to our large outdoor compost tumbler. Composting is a great way to recycle a lot of household waste and put nutrition back into the soil where we grow our garden. Coffee grounds can add nitrogen to the soil, as they break down, and though you could possibly use them straight as a side-dressing for houseplants, you would only be able to use a very small amount. Plus, you would need to wait for them to fully break down before adding more or you run the risk of growing fungi. Coffee grounds can hold too much moisture in the soil if added, in large quantities, on their own. The best way to utilize them is to add them to your compost, right along with the paper filter you used to brew them.
Nothing from our Starbucks coffee purchase went to waste, this month. I up-cycled the coffee bag into a simple planter for some violas I just couldn’t resist having in my kitchen window. It would also be great for starting plants for your garden or for growing some basil in your kitchen. No matter what you decide to plant, using the empty coffee bag to create a pot/planter is super simple! All I did was to roll the top of the bag down, creating a wide cuff at the top. I rolled it three times, to get the height that I like, but you could do more or less depending on the width of your cuff and how tall you want your planter.
All that was left to do was add a few smooth stones in the bottom of the bag to help with drainage, then some potting soil, my viola transplants and a little more soil. I gave them a good drink of water and set the flowers in their new home on my kitchen window sill. Violets are my absolute favorite flower and since they can grow in partial shade, my east-facing kitchen window is a great spot for them to flourish and bring a touch of spring to my kitchen!
Have you tried any fun, new projects for Earth Month? I’d love to hear about them!!!
I am a member of the Collective Bias® Social Fabric® Community. This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias™. #cbias #SocialFabric #DeliciousPairings. A positive review was not required. As with all Busy-at-Home reviews, the views and opinions expressed are wholly my own and based on my personal experience with the product.